Holistic and wellness-centric, yet catering for hedonists at heart, Maison Sybarite are the world’s first alcohol-free fragrances that began with a journey the founders first undertook over a decade ago…
When friends and long-time fragrance aficionados Annabel Dragan and Katia Milo committed to a holistic lifestyle, they desperately searched for fine scents that would be in harmony with their new quest for a healthier outlook in life. Dismayed to discover that perfumes in an alcohol base weren’t the best for their skin, and that no fine fragrance house seemingly catered for those who chose to avoid alcohol (for personal or religious reasons); they began to realise the onus was on them to reinvent the olfactory genre – and the bases that perfumes are presented in. How to find something that was safe and kinder to skin, yet still held the fragrance formula and made it last? The answer was found in the 2018 discovery of the ‘Water-Plant Emulsion’ WPE® method of a Paris-based manufacturer, and in their introduction to Master perfumer Antoine Lie.
Lie has created fragrances for some of the world’s most extraordinary houses and is himself a long-time proponent of what is sometimes called ‘slow perfumery’ – fragrances that are mindfully crafted, composed in smaller batches and with a slower ageing process that preserves the freshness, high quality of the ingredients and ensures a well-rounded, seamlessly blended ‘juice’. Using this traditional oil in water technology, and with Antoine Lie’s legendary skills on board, allowed Maison Sybarite to fully bloom. Of creating for Maison Sybarite, Lie comments: “A strong primary instinct, surprised in a modern light, gives birth to a fragrance collection that stands the test of time. Awakening the power of the unconscious inspires me to combine the strength of nature with its nobility. Next generation water-based fine fragrance brand is born. This unexplored, newly accessed territory offers a unique sensorial experience, making it possible to achieve what conventions usually prohibit.”
Taking their cue from the truly unconventional, scent-obsessed Ancient Roman culture and mythologies seemed only natural, and the name itself stems from the city of Sybaris, founded in 720 BC. A now mythical place that welcomed those with sensual pleasures, and knew how to indulge them, wearing these sumptuously seductive and skin-nurturing fragrances will immediately transport you to these heady days of history, yet in the most chicly contemporary and eco-friendly way. Says Maison Sybarite of their inspiration:
“Sybarites were advanced in both their policies and way of life, associating pleasure with work, arts, nature, living well, and well-being. A conscious, contemporary sybarite is one who is totally devoted to sensuality and all of life’s pleasures, while also being respectful of the environment.”
For the fragrance 720, celebrating the historic Sybaritic city’s founding date, spicy amber, and smoked birch tar drifts to warm tingles of cinnamon atop the nutty, tonka-rich base. In OPULENT WOOD, Lie takes inspiration from the voluptuous aromas found in winemaking – a favourite activity of the Sybarites – with a warm, woody background swagged by orange blossom, plump prunes, supple saffron-spiked leather and an intriguing jasmine/nutmeg wood-infused trail. The perfumer for SPICY CALABRIA, meanwhile, was Laure Santantoni, who describes it as “A perfume with irresistible effects holds a faithful echo of the voice of one’s deep inner, devoted to make attraction power more attainable. I took a long road to explore the various features of ingredients to create this phenomenal hybrid of woody and freshness.” But perhaps you fancy falling into a BED OF ROSES? Apparently, Sybarites preferred sleeping on beds of scented rose petals, insisting on fresh roses every night. (Quite right, too). The roses here rest on powdery orris, electrified with spicy sparks and tolu balm, hints of lasciviousness belying the freshness.
Stunning scents captured in saponine, olive oil and water – leaving a sexy sheen the Sybarites would surely have approved of – if there’s a new cult of refined hedonism, we name this the official fragrance house! So, which of the Maison Sybarite scents would tempt you first? We have a feeling that, like us, from the first caress of the silky spritzes you’ll succumb to the perfumed pleasures within…